Blade 93 vs. Pro Staff 90-- opinions?

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by kingcheetah, Mar 11, 2013.

  1. kingcheetah

    kingcheetah Professional

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    I'm a d3 college player looking to switch tennis racquets. I used to use a BLX six one 95 18x20 (2010 version) before switching to a Juice Pro when the 2012 models came out. I've never really been comfortable with that racquet (I think it's too powerful of a frame for me. At 6'4" 200 lbs, I don't really need a racquet that is that powerful)

    I've demoed the Pro Staff 90 twice now, and both times I loved the sense of control I had, especially at the net. The weight hasn't posed any problems and I have very few mishits with this frame (surprisingly, I mishit more with the Juice... my coach thinks it might be the lighter weight causing me to slow down too much on my swings.)

    Anyone who has tried the Blade 93 have commentary on how it plays compared with the Pro Staff? Judging solely from the numbers, it seems to me that it isn't going to fix what I dislike about the Juice Pro... as they have identical weights and very close swingweights.

    Any and all advice appreciated!
     
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  2. spinovic

    spinovic Hall of Fame

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  3. sam_p

    sam_p Professional

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    You need to demo the Blade 93 to decide for yourself. I've fallen in love with it, strung with Klip legend 17 ga gut in the mains at 55 and luxilon savage in the crosses at 52. I have no problem generating the spin I need at all and it is a great solid feel to me.

    I like the Pro Staff 90 fine as well, felt a little more like work playing with it though. Of course I am a 48 year old 4.5 player so if I were 20... I don't think you'd go wrong with either, but you need to decide based on your own subjective feel. Demo, demo, demo
     
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  4. kingcheetah

    kingcheetah Professional

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    Thats the plan :)

    I've heard similar criticisms to what J posted in his critique of the 93 (first link) about the 98. Teaching pros and players have disliked it (obviously the 93 is a different frame so it is likely going to feel different than the 98 did for the players I know (I assume that they were trying the 16x19, but I can't guarantee that.
     
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  5. martini1

    martini1 Hall of Fame

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    Post your findings after demoing the Blade 93. I have heard it is not the best blend of power and control. Let us know what you think.
     
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  6. UCSF2012

    UCSF2012 Hall of Fame

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    Blade 98 is very powerful. Bomb serves...2nd serve effort=1st serve riffles. Groundstrokes require 3/4 punches to keep in.

    Blade 93 vs 90: Top of 90 is dead spot. Top of 93 is usable string space. 93 plays more consistent, easier to hit your target, but considerably less spin. Better directional control, and easier to change directions. 93 serves harder, since the top stringbed isn't dead, but it's harder to get the ball to dip/kick due to the 18x20 pattern. 90 is better kick. More balls stay in, since it's slightly lower power with increased spin. More variety in shots (attack drive, loopy defense, slightly sharper angles possible.) Harder to execute the loopy defensive shot on the 93, because those don't drop in as frequently.
     
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  7. UCSF2012

    UCSF2012 Hall of Fame

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    The blend of power and control is more about the string setup. In my experience anyway. I highly recommend gut/proline II on the 93.
     
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  8. acura9927

    acura9927 Semi-Pro

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    I never liked 18 x 20 on a smaller frame, recently bought the Blx 90 and really like the spin versus 18 x20. Plus the feel is just right with the pro staff 90 that is among the best out there.
     
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  9. kingcheetah

    kingcheetah Professional

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    Will do. My week long demo of these will start a week from today... I'll post some initial thoughts, then final ones. I'll hopefully have a good day on court Saturday!

    Also, I've already used the 90 in two different 1 week stints, so I'm fairly used to that one.
     
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  10. Mick3391

    Mick3391 Professional

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    You need to demo the 93, but it's junk to me, especially in comparison to the great 90!
     
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  11. kingcheetah

    kingcheetah Professional

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    Ok everyone... the demos will be here tomorrow, and at some point Saturday night I should have the reviews ready.
    I'm receiving a Pro Staff 90, Blade 93, Prestige Mid and Radical Pro all with Poly, and I'll have access to a current Six. One 95 18x20, the 2010 version (same model) and a Juice Pro. I'll be posting feedback on all.
     
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  12. bt johnson

    bt johnson Rookie

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    Blade 93

    I'm a former D1 player and a current teaching pro. What is your style of play? The Blade 93 is my current racquet of choice and I have no idea why someone would compare the Blade 93 and Blade 98 to each other. My Blade 93 weighs an ounce and a half more and is 9 pts more HL than the 98. The Pro Staff 90 is a solid frame but it hits nothing like the Blade 93, nothing. I think the Pro Staff 90 is better suited for someone with a one handed backhand. I love the Blade 93, the Prestige Mid is a solid stick as well.
     
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  13. bt johnson

    bt johnson Rookie

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    I think a lot of what you posted is your ability with the 90. Take about everything you said and reverse it for me in reference to the 93 vs 90.
     
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  14. Fedest

    Fedest New User

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    I agree with the opinion. I use 90 and I am happy with it.
    The 18x20 string pattern does not suit my style, I want spin and it does not provide enough spin, although I like the powerful flat shot it can creat.
    I guess it really depends on your style of play, I would say more of heavy top spin player who wants control & flat shot.
     
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  15. bt johnson

    bt johnson Rookie

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    Fedfest I agree with what you said above, I personally produce plenty of spin on my own so I like the added benefit of the powerful flat shot and control that I receive from an 18x20 frame. I'll toy around and teach lessons with 16x19 and although I do produce more spin I can't produce the driving shots I prefer when I'm actually playing. I recently hit with that Steam 99s and I could not tell very much difference in that open string pattern and a 16x19, trying to hit flat hard shots with the Steam 99s was an absolute nightmare. My roommate plays with the Prostaff 90 and he loves it, we will try each other's racquets now and then. While we both respect each others racquets the 93 is more suitable to my game and the 90 is better for his, he has a one handed backhand, serve and volley player. So OP it's going to come down to your game style and abilities in determining which one is right for you.
     
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  16. sam_p

    sam_p Professional

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    I previously played with more open patterns (Yonex RDS 002 T and 89T) and haven't noted any loss of spin with my Blade 93's. Certainly there is an effect of string pattern but I agree it is quite dependent on strokes. I have an open stance forehand with a semi-western grip and hit both flat and topspinny forehands, depending on the situation, and have no problem generating tons of top with the Blade. I suspect this is more a function of head speed in my case as I have about as much spin with the Blade 93 as I did with the Extreme Pro 2.0 (which I tried for an extended demo fairly recently). I feel as well that a mid is better for my 1HBH (ie the Blade and 89T were great and the RDS002T and Extreme a little less so).
     
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  17. jman32

    jman32 Rookie

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    prince diablo tour 93" is a nice frame. i put some lead at 12 o'clock to give it more umph

    i have tried the K90

    i like to prince better, great control, more forgiving. exceptional volleying and 1HBH

    i am a big guy as well (6'3" 220) one thing i like is that you can line up a shot and absolutely drill the ball and still have control.
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2013
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  18. kingcheetah

    kingcheetah Professional

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    I play an aggressive style, attack the net some but I'm not really a "serve and volleyer" (I'd say I attack if given the opportunity via a short ball but I don't usually play on attacking the net.) Best shots are serve and forehand, I have a 2h backhand that is a consistent shot, and I don't usually try to overpower the opponent from that side. I can change up to a 1h if I need to for reach or on select shots, but the 2h is my go-to.
     
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  19. kingcheetah

    kingcheetah Professional

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    OK- I've tried all of the demos for a couple of days now, and I've posted my personal findings below(feel free to skip the paragraph and go to the abbreviated line at the bottom of each review:

    Wilson Pro Staff 90:
    This racquet hadn't disappointed me yet, so this was probably the demo I was most looking forward to. The first one I received had been freshly strung with Lux. savage, and played the best of the first two demos, so when I saw this one had savage, I was also excited. I think TW must have strung it lower,and/or more people had used that stringjob before me. I agree with many people who have tried this one-- the racquet is sensitive to string setup. I'm still liking the way it plays but not quite as much as with the fresh stringjob. The cheap overgrip on this one doesn't help either, but that's an easy fix. While the racquet is hefty, if I warm up it is manageable, and the extra mass really helps with my 2hbackhand, which is surprising given how many people posted reviews saying it was really best for 1h backhands. Off the forehand side I can crush shots with confidence. Serves take getting used to-- you have to be generating power correctly or you will destroy your arm, but the control is excellent. My favorite part of this racquet has to be the volleying. The control at the net of this stick really puts it in a class of its own (of those I've tried!)

    I think this frame is excellent if you can make the most of its control (consistently.) It doesn't play as heavy as it is, and it also seems to be a forgiving frame for a 90" headsize.


    Wilson Blade 93 (2013):
    I was really eager to get my hands on this demo, since it released a few months back. Feelings so far are mixed. The power this frame generates, especially for a mid, is pretty good. The denser string pattern helps with control, and allows shots to be flatter.
    Now to the negatives: The frame is marketed as a sort of "Next Gen" Mid-- with the modern game in mind. I suppose this explains the stiffness (listed at 67 by TW but it felt much stiffer than any of my other demos.) Interestingly, it seems to have some other attributes of the "old-school" mids-- the dense string pattern wouldn't be great for those who want maximum spin (I'm fine with the dense or open pattern, honestly.) The other thing that really doesn't get enough attention about this frame is that the grip is short. I'm used to a longer-than-standard handle on the Juice Pro, but even the handles of the Pro Staff 90, Prestige Mid and Radical Pro were much more spacious than the Blade 93. It seems ludicrous that a company would claim a racquet be for the "modern game" yet make it difficult to use for 2h backhands. I think this frame could also have used just a tad more weight, but this wasn't a huge problem. I think this frame continues the problems of the previous blades-- it isn't able to fully cater to a player base. It feels like the unwanted offspring of a stiff Babolat frame and a "old school" mid, and the result ain't pretty.

    I think that this is a frame that Wilson needs to improve upon. Keep the 18x20 pattern, and the 93" headsize, but give the racquet at least a standard handle, if not a longer-than standard handle (like the Juice Pro has.) Bring the weight up to 12.3 oz or so, keep the balance the same. Then they'll have a "next gen" frame.

    Head Prestige Mid(2012)
    This frame had a really nice feel to it. It is a tad lighter than the Pro Staff 90, and is a great control frame with the 18x20 string pattern. Groundstrokes are very similarly solid, although I didn't get quite as much pace on my backhand from this one as I did the 90. Felt just a tad less solid at net for me (I think the beam width and slightly lower weight had me feeling this way, but it was a very slight difference.) Serves were a tad easier with this one than the Pro Staff, but still had the mid feel. Overall this frame plays excellent, I just liked the Pro Staff 90 a tad better (I would be happy with either honestly, but I'm fortunate enough to have a choice!)

    Head Radical Pro (2012)
    This racquet is a solid frame from the baseline. A little light for me, but that can be easily fixed. I would definitely add the weight to the handle though, as the balance is more head-heavy than I am used to. Forehands seem to be the best shot with this one... Volleys weren't my favorite.

    A good frame, but not quite the type I am looking for. I could work with it and make it very likeable, but there are others that were designed to have the weight and balance I am looking for.

    Wilson Juice Pro
    My current frame, I picked it a year ago at the start of my senior season. I've grown a fair amount since then (3 inches and about 15 lbs), and my tennis abilities have improved as well. I love the longer handle on this one for 2h backhands, and the weight and balance seemed to be good. (Having gotten stronger it's a tad light now, but that's a fairly easily fixed problem.) The unique part about this frame is that while its specifications are very similar to a Six one 95, the Juice Pro has a lot more power to it than any of those frames. As a result, I sometimes feel too tentative to really swing out and trust that the ball will stay in the court. This one feels like a mix of a six one 95 with the power (and extended length, although this is very slight) of a Pure Drive Roddick.

    Another good offering from Wilson, and I like where they are going with this one, but it's a tad light, and more significantly for me, a frame that is powerful when I don't need it to be (It's tough to control at times.) Still a good frame though.
     
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  20. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    OP,
    Looking over your comments, it seems like the 6.1 95 would be an excellent racket for you. It seems to fit with all of your desires. What didn't you like about it?
     
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  21. kingcheetah

    kingcheetah Professional

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    I do have a couple of the original BLX... they're just worn out. The new one didn't feel quite right to me-- I think with the amplifeel and added maneuverability it isn't as solid of a frame. In fact, I hit the 2010 18x20 95 and the transition between it and the Pro Staff 90 was smooth. I think that the two kind of remind me of one another in terms of how they feel to swing. The pro staff has some nice feel to it, that I really didn't get with the 2012 6.1 95. Still more feel than the Blade 93 though, which has no real "rough" spots to hit in because the sweet spot has no feel really. I have to watch the ball to see if I hit it well with the Blade 93, because unlike the Pro Staff 90 or the Six ones, you can't feel if you hit the sweet spot with the blade 93.
     
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